University News

New gifts to Carolina Center for Public Service to advance the University’s longstanding mission of serving our state

The gifts, which coincide with the center’s 20th anniversary, will create five new Community Service Scholarships and will provide the opportunity for a full cohort of Community Service Scholars to participate in N.C. Outward Bound School expeditions.

Walter Buckley, Lynn Blanchard and Marjorie Buckley
Walter Buckley, Lynn Blanchard and Marjorie Buckley at an event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Carolina Center for Public Service. (Photo by Jeyhoun Allebaugh/UNC-Chapel Hill).

Generous gifts from Marjorie Bryan Buckley ’62 and her husband Walter W. Buckley, Jr. will enable the Carolina Center for Public Service at UNC-Chapel Hill to increase the impact of multiple programs that support student engagement with North Carolina communities. The gifts further advance the University’s longstanding mission of serving the state.

The gifts, which coincide with the Center’s 20th anniversary, will create five new Community Service Scholarships in honor of CCPS director Lynn Blanchard MPH ’85, Ph.D. ’89, who has led the Center since 2002. In addition to the scholarships, they will fund a N.C. Outward Bound School fellowship for all Community Service Scholars and create a new summer fellowship that combines a N.C. Outward Bound School expedition with a paid internship in North Carolina.

“These generous gifts honor Lynn’s unwavering leadership and passion for service. The funds will help our students continue that legacy of service and make a lasting impact on North Carolinians across the state,” said Interim Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz. “Through its many service-learning programs and initiatives, the Carolina Center for Public Service has helped Carolina fulfill its purpose as a University both of and for the people.”

The five Lynn White Blanchard Community Service Scholarships will more than double the number of endowed Community Service Scholarships and dramatically increase the number of scholars per class. The center offers the scholarships to select undergraduate students in their second year to help cover tuition costs. Community Service Scholars also participate in a unique series of service-oriented programs focused on increasing student knowledge and skills related to community service. These include the Buckley Public Service Scholars program, which provides opportunities and structure to develop service portfolios and service-oriented skills. Community Service Scholars engage in at least 250 hours of community service per year during their time at Carolina.

Additionally, the gifts provide for a full cohort of Community Service Scholars (up to 12) to participate in a four-day N.C. Outward Bound School backpacking expedition over fall break. They will also fund a three-week N.C. Outward Bound School summer experience for one Community Service Scholar that will be combined with a paid summer internship upon their return for the remainder of the summer. This fellowship is designed to offer a longer Outward Bound experience without causing financial obstacles for the student. This experience will build on skills gained through the N.C. Outward Bound School expedition by applying them through summer work in nonprofits that serve the state.

“I am incredibly honored to be recognized by the Buckleys’ generous and meaningful gift,” said Blanchard. “Most important, thanks to them, we can support more students committed to public service through scholarships and provide them with more transformational learning experiences; at the same time, the gift advances the University’s mission of serving the state.”

Marjorie Buckley was integral to creating the center through her vision and a lead gift in 1999. She has remained a generous supporter and advocate for its growth and evolution. Since launching, CCPS has established its own signature programs while also working as a pan-University center to promote public service and engagement throughout the Carolina community. Through Buckley Public Service Scholars, 10,492 students have logged 2.2 million hours of service over the last 16 years. Through APPLES Service-Learning, 34,387 undergraduate students have taken 1,372 service-learning courses and committed more than 1.3 million hours to service-learning.

Blanchard oversaw the establishment of the center’s third signature program: Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholars, a learning community that supports engaged scholarship among Carolina faculty. Since the program’s 2007 launch, 63 faculty members representing 28 departments from 12 of Carolina’s 13 schools have participated.

Throughout her career, Blanchard has championed the role of higher education in addressing society’s pressing issues and improving community through engaged teaching, research and service. A founding member of the Academy of Community Engagement Scholarship, Blanchard has elevated Carolina into one of the nation’s top universities for engaged scholarship and public service.

The latest gifts from the Buckleys influenced $200,000 in additional support to CCPS for the Community Service Scholarship program and is intended to inspire more. The contributions count in For All Kind: the Campaign for Carolina, which aims to raise $4.25 billion by Dec. 31, 2022, to support the Blueprint for Next, the University’s overall strategic plan built on two core strategies: “of the public, for the public,” and “innovation made fundamental.”